Deals wrap: Seeking greener pastures

Snow falls on a Wall St. street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange, February 25, 2010.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermidThe usual flurry of brokerage firm traders seeking to join hedge funds after the payout of annual bonuses could be more of a blizzard this year, with compensation shrinking on Wall Street and a regulatory crackdown in the offing.

A break-up sale could be looming for niche auto designer and producer Pininfarina SpA, creator of almost every Ferrari sportscar since the early 1950s.

Expect to see bolt-on acquisitions in construction services and materials firms across Europe as the industry heats up.

The New York Mets hopes to sell a 25 percent stake by June to raise cash for a potential Bernard Madoff-related settlement, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“Smith & Nephew Plc, which gained 16 percent on takeover speculation, is still worth almost 60 percent more, or $15.6 billion, in an acquisition,” reports Bloomberg.

from Breakingviews:

Vikram Pandit can’t rock’n'roll like Guy Hands

By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Vikram Pandit has been banging his head for years over Citigroup's financial problems. But that doesn't qualify him as an expert on heavy metal. So expect the bank to quickly offload EMI, the Iron Maiden-to-Katy Perry music publishing and recording business it seized on Tuesday.

The takeover marks the finale of a four-year cycle of recrimination between the bank and private equity boss Guy Hands. Hands' London-based Terra Firma overpaid for the business in May 2007, larded on too much debt and then, partly because of cuts needed to meet interest payments, soured relations with EMI's primary asset -- its artists. But Hands also tripled the company's profit. Some financial wiggle room and a charm offensive might be all a refreshed EMI needs to thrive.

Deals wrap: Frothy results and scandal

A Sky News broadcast is shown on television screens in an electrical store in Edinburgh Scotland January 27, 2011.  REUTERS/David MoirNews Corp may have to raise its BSkyB bid as much as 20 percent as its 7-month-old offer gets tied down in a phone-hacking scandal that may undermine the deal. The deal will likely overshadow the company’s quarterly earnings, which are due after the market closes on Wednesday.

Russian companies could have mere weeks to seize a short window to launch IPOs as investor confidence remains fragile and the state mulls a privatization plan that could swamp capital markets.

“If anyone needs proof the tech sector has entered extra-frothy, double-latte territory, it’s best to look past the immense valuations discussed for Groupon or Facebook,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

No me-too breakup for Pentair, CEO says

Word from ITT Corp last month that it plans to break itself up into three public companies got many on Wall Street salivating — surely more breakups, and fees would follow.

ITT, which makes water filtration systems, industrial components and defense equipment, joined a wave of corporate breakups that has also washed over Fortune Brands, Motorola and Sara Lee.

But fellow diversified U.S. manufacturer Pentair is one company that has little interest in following in ITT’s footsteps, chief executive Randall Hogan told analysts on a conference call on Tuesday, despite the similarities between the companies, each of which has a large water filtration business.

Deals wrap: Investors cheer as Alpha’s Massey takeover sinks in

MINING-MASSEY/ACCIDENTShares of coal miner Massey Energy surged in trading on Monday, the first trading day after rival Alpha Natural Resources agreed to buy it in a $7 billion deal.

AMB Property Corp has struck a deal to buy rival ProLogis for $5.7 billion in stock, combining the two largest U.S. owners of warehouse and distribution centers around the world in one of the biggest real-estate deals since the financial crisis.

U.S. biotechnology company Genzyme Corp and French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA have reached an agreement in principle on the outlines of a merger deal, sources familiar with the situation said on Monday. Earlier in the day, the two companies said they had entered into a nondisclosure agreement, allowing Genzyme to open its books to Sanofi.

Investors have written to BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto to say the miners should ditch ambitions for mega deals in favor of multi-billion pound share buyback schemes, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Deals wrap: M&A is back

A sign is pictured on Wall St. near the New York Stock Exchange in New York November 25, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Dealmaking is back on the agenda as CEOs step up the hunt for ways to put a multitrillion-dollar cash pile to work, triggering the busiest January for M&A in 11 years.

If ProLogis and AMB Property’s recently announced talks on a “merger of equals” pan out, AMB Property is likely to be the real buyer and ProLogis the target, investors and Wall Street analysts said.

Sara Lee plans to split into two separate public companies focusing on North American meats and international coffee after takeover bids it received were not enough to entice it to sell the company.

Deals wrap: Racking up the deals

Vehicles drive on flyovers during the evening rush hour in central Shanghai December 29, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song There’s a new swagger among the bosses of emerging market companies as they sign checks for a growing list of acquisitions in both the developed and developing world. And this is just the start.

Strong demand for broadband and high-definition TV lifted first-half profits at bid target BSkyB by 26 percent, increasing pressure on Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp to secure its takeover deal without delay.

Veteran banker John Kanas gets to cash in big time on one of the most profitable bank buyouts in years when BankUnited goes public on Thursday. Kanas’ expected profits are in stark contrast to the FDIC’s losses from BankUnited.

Deals wrap: Looking forward to 2011′s IPOs?

A Wall St. sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange September 30, 2008.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Nielsen’s IPO raised more than expected and could set the tone for a rush of big private equity-backed IPOs anticipated in 2011.

Rupert Murdoch has opted to travel to London instead of Davos as News Corp’s $12.5 billion bid for British satellite broadcaster BSkyB hangs in the balance, two sources familiar with his plans said.

Icahn Enterprises extended its tender offer to buy Dynegy, a day after the power producer said it did not receive any competing bids to top Carl Icahn’s $665 million takeover offer.

Deals wrap: BlackRock results beat Street

Snow falls on a Wall St. street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange, February 25, 2010.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBlackRock reported a big jump in fourth-quarter profit and revenue, topping analysts’ estimates. With markets on an upswing, the $3.6 trillion behemoth created when Chief Executive Laurence Fink bought Barclays’s investment unit for $15 billion just over a year ago finally appears to be paying off for investors.

Cross border deals are providing an opportunity for boutique investment banks to shine, reports NYT.

“An unusual burst of trading ahead of a $3.5 billion takeover for cardboard box maker Smurfit-Stone Container Corp left some analysts remarking on the timing,” reports WSJ.

Deals wrap: Taxing Sara Lee

U.S. dollar bills are displayed in Toronto in this posed photo, March 26, 2008. REUTERS/Mark BlinchAvoiding being clobbered with a huge tax bill is a key consideration in deciding on a sale, break-up or spin-off for a large company like Sara Lee.

Activist investor William Ackman and Vornado’s Chief Executive Steven Roth will join the board of J.C. Penney next month, the department store operator said.

Google needs to buy a Groupon clone, reports GigaOM.

The retail sector is ripe for M&A activity, reports Morningstar.